MARCH 16, 2006


Cameron receives largest donation in school history from McMahon Foundation

Cameron University President Cindy Ross (left) and Dr. Charles Graybill, Chairman of The McMahon Foundation Board of Trustees of Lawton, unveil a plaque which commemorates The McMahon Foundation’s $4 million gift to Cameron. The McMahon Foundation’s gift is the largest in Cameron’s 98-year history and will go to fund the construction of the new Student Activities Complex as part of the Cameron University: Changing Lives campaign, a component of Cameron’s Centennial Observance.

Through the past 43 years, Cameron University and The McMahon Foundation of Lawton have formed a partnership that has provided countless opportunities for generations of CU students.

Cameron University and The McMahon Foundation made a historic announcement recently that will once again impact Cameron’s student body.

Cameron University officials formally accepted a $4 million gift from The McMahon Foundation during a special ceremony in the Cameron University McMahon Center.

The unprecedented donation is the largest gift in Cameron’s 98-year history and the largest gift in the 66-year history of the McMahon Foundation. The contribution furthers the foundation’s tradition of giving, which now totals more than $13 million.

“Today is a historic day, one that will be remembered for shaping Cameron University’s future,” President Cindy Ross said. "As we prepare to celebrate Cameron’s Centennial, this landmark gift will echo into Cameron’s next 100 years. This gift will provide a better tomorrow for Cameron students. We are grateful to The McMahon Foundation for making this extraordinary and historic contribution.”

Dr. Charles Graybill, Chairman of The McMahon Foundation’s Board of Trustees, spoke during the ceremony, praising Cameron for its dedication to improving the lives of students.

“Cameron University is committed to providing its students with a quality education and The McMahon Foundation is dedicated to helping Cameron continue that mission,” Graybill said. “We have formed a lasting partnership, one that has changed the lives of students during Cameron’s first century and will continue to change lives for the next 100 years.”

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Chancellor Paul Risser declared the gift a momentous occasion for Cameron students.

“Foundations make substantial gifts to great universities, and universities become great with substantial gifts,” Risser said. “This process is really a partnership, and the McMahon Foundation and Cameron University are truly partners in greatness. The beneficiaries of this very generous gift are the current and future students at Cameron, and the broad community served by the university.”

The McMahon Foundation’s historic donation is the pacesetter gift in the Cameron University: Changing Lives campaign, an $8.5 million development initiative launched as part of Cameron’s Centennial Observance. Cameron will celebrate its 100th birthday during the 2008-2009 academic year. The gift will be applied toward the construction of a new $6.5 million Student Activities Complex, the landmark project in the Changing Lives campaign.

Regent Tom Clark, representing The University of Oklahoma, Cameron University, Rogers State University Board of Regents, spoke about the project’s impact on CU’s student body.

“Today will go down as an extraordinary day in Cameron’s history,” Clark said. “The McMahon gift represents tremendous progress toward fulfilling the promise of the Changing Lives campaign, which will reshape Cameron’s campus and provide Cameron students with an all-inclusive facility.”

In total, The McMahon Foundation has given $13,205,892 million to Cameron University during the past 43 years, dating back to Cameron’s junior college era.

The foundation has provided more than $2 million for scholarships, $5.7 million for major capital improvements (i.e. Fine Arts Complex, the Fitness Center and the Agriculture Complex), and $1.2 million for miscellaneous projects, such as tuition and fees reimbursement for students deployed during the Iraq War, equipment for the department of nursing, and support to KCCU.

The McMahon Foundation’s $4 million gift surpasses its own record as the largest, one-time donation in Cameron University history. In 2004, the foundation gave $1.25 million for the Cameron Village McMahon Center.

“There are no words to adequately express our gratitude for The McMahon Foundation’s legacy of giving,” Ross said. “The McMahon Foundation has been a cornerstone in the success of Cameron University. On behalf of every student who has the opportunity to earn an education because of a McMahon scholarship and every student who has taken class in a facility constructed through their generosity, I say thank you. Thank you for investing in the future of Cameron University’s students and helping us change lives – one student at a time.”

Contact: Adam Calaway, CU director of government and community relations, 1.580.581.2211